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441 US 130,

East Windsor, NJ 08520

(609) 336-7518

09AM to 05PM EST

What to Eat When You Have a Sore Throat

Having throat soreness may feel quite painful. That nagging pain when you swallow is enough to damage your day. As if that wasn’t bad enough, sore throats often make it difficult to enjoy your favorite foods. 

The good news is that you don’t have to avoid eating just because you have a sore throat. Choosing the right foods can help soothe throat pain and discomfort. The key is sticking to soft, mild, wet, and excellent foods. These types of foods will glide down your throat easily without causing additional irritation.

Foods to Soothe a Sore Throat

Whenever the throat is swollen and annoyed, swallowing can be painful. Choosing foods to eat that slide down easily without extra chewing can help lower that pain. The right foods also coat and soothe the tender tissues, helping them heal. Here is a list of what to eat when you have a sore throat.

1. Warm and Soft Comfort Foods

Warm foods can make a sore, irritated throat feel better, says Healthline. The heat helps thin out thick mucus so it doesn’t stick in the throat as much. Soft, smooth textures also won’t scrape or scratch the tender throat tissues when you swallow.

Some soothing food ideas are:

  • Macaroni and cheese made with milk and melted cheese. Go for soft noodles coated in a creamy, smooth sauce.
  • Cook oatmeal porridge until it is very thick and pale. Mix in a swirl of honey or mashed fruit like bananas or peaches.
  • Congee is a Chinese rice porridge that has been boiled until it is thick and creamy. It can be savory or sweet.
  • Cream of wheat cereal simmered until soft and smooth. Mix in fresh fruit puree.
  • Rice pudding made with white or brown rice, warmed milk, spices, and honey.
  • Custards or soft puddings, such as vanilla or chocolate, slip down effortlessly.

2. Smooth Pureed Fruits and Cooked Vegetables

Fruits and veggies provide essential vitamins and minerals for healing. But their tough skins and fibers require chewing, which can hurt a sore throat. Instead, choose super smooth versions without chunks:

  • Applesauce – plain, sweetened, or flavored with cinnamon. Look for varieties without added sugar.
  • Smash ripe bananas, avocados, or peeled pears. Mix in a bit of milk or yogurt for creaminess.
  • Pureed pumpkin, winter squash, or sweet potatoes. Add spices like cinnamon.
  • Vegetable or chicken soups or stews made with very tender vegetables cooked until falling apart soft – potatoes, carrots, peas, spinach. Use an immersion blender to puree smooth.
  • Fruit smoothies made from blended fruits and vegetables into a drinkable consistency. Bananas, mangoes, and berries work well.

Mixing a spoonful or two of honey into fruit purees adds natural, soothing sweetness and antimicrobial benefits. The honey coats and protects irritated tissues.

The goal is to be able to swallow these without excessive chewing. So keep these smooth and well-pure nutrients to aid healing without further hurting your sore throat.

3. Creamy Mashed Starches

Starchy vegetables like potatoes and winter squash turn soft and smooth when cooked and mashed. It makes them easy to swallow without much chewing, which is critical for sore throats.

Some soothing ideas:

  • Mashed russet or sweet potatoes – Cook well, then mash with butter, milk, or cream for creaminess. It can be spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, or garlic.
  • Smash pumpkin or butternut squash – Roast well until very tender. Then mash with spices like cinnamon.
  • Mashed carrots, parsnips, and peas – Cook until they fall apart soft. Mash together into a smooth puree.
  • Oatmeal – Prepare traditional oatmeal with additional water until it is creamy. Stir often to prevent sticking or burning.
  • Polenta or grits – Slow cook until soft and smooth, not grainy. You can stir in cheese or pureed veggies.
  • Creamy mashed chickpeas or white beans – For a plant-based alternative to dairy. Mash well with vegetable broth.

Choose cooking methods that make these very soft, like roasting, boiling, or simmering. For gentle swallowing, use liquids like broth, milk, or cream to blend and puree them into smooth pastes. Their comfort food familiarity also aids mental health when feeling under the weather.

4. Soothing Dairy Foods

While some foods can make you feel better, others may irritate your throat and worsen symptoms. Steer clear of:

  • Spicy foods like hot sauce or chili Salty or acidic foods like vinegar
  • Crunchy foods like chips or popcorn
  • Dry, coarse bread
  • Tomatoes or tomato sauce
  • Raw vegetables like celery or carrots
  • Fruits containing citrus and drinks, such as grapefruit or orange juice.
  • Alcohol and caffeine, which can dry your throat out
  • Milk and other dairy if you have increased mucus
When You Have a Sore Throat

Foods to Avoid with a Sore Throat

Another crucial aspect of an annual physical exam is reviewing your personal and family medical records. Your doctor will inquire regarding your previous health, present medicines, and current modifications to your lifestyle.

It will allow them to grasp your general state of health better. This data assists your physician in determining your health profile and identifying possible risk factors for specific disorders.

Fortunately, if you’re experiencing an ancestral history of cardiac disease or obesity, your physician may recommend periodic screenings. Your physician may also propose that you adjust your lifestyle. These adjustments can lessen your chances of getting these illnesses.

Related, What is Included in an Annual Physical Exam?

Additional Tips to Help Your Sore Throat Recover

Eating the right soothing foods is critical, but other home remedies can also tame throat pain and inflammation. Coupled together, they help you heal faster.

1. Rest and Take It Easy

Listen to your body and get extra sleep when possible. Napping lets your immune system direct more energy towards fighting off the infection behind your sore throat. Wake slowly from rest without sudden movements.

2. Stay Properly Hydrated

Aim for at least eight glasses or cups of non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic fluids daily. Warm broth, herbal tea with honey, and juice diluted with water are great options. Proper hydration keeps mucus secretions thinner so they don’t stick and trigger coughing fits.

3. Consider Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

Acetaminophen and ibuprofen may alleviate sore throat symptoms. Always follow dosage instructions carefully. See your doctor if pain persists beyond one week while taking over-the-counter.

4. Use Honey and Gargle Salt Water

Honey has natural germ-fighting benefits. Coating your throat with it directly helps kill bacteria behind your infection. Mix a 1⁄2 teaspoon of salt into a full glass of warm water and gargle once per hour to pull out mucus from inflamed tissues.

5. Engage In Relaxing Activities

Stress taxes your body, which hampers healing. Set aside time each day for an enjoyable hobby that clears your mind. Listening to music, gentle yoga, painting, or writing in a journal reduces tension. Deep breathing also helps relax muscles.

The right balance of nourishment, hydration, rest, natural remedies, and mind-body practices speed up recovery. Be attentive to symptoms and see your doctor if your sore throat persists or breathing becomes difficult.

Related, How to Choose a Primary Care Physician?

Sore Throat

When to See Your Doctor

If you have a sore throat, manage it with home treatment and contact your doctor at a primary care clinic if:

  • Your fever goes above 101 ̊F
  • Your symptoms last longer than two weeks
  • You have difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Your sore throat is harrowing or continues to get worse

Seeing your doctor at the first signs of a complication can help prevent more severe problems and relieve sore throat faster.

The Bottom Line

To help a sore throat:

  • Eat and drink soothing foods that won’t make your throat feel worse.
  • Stick mainly to warm, soft, pureed, and well-cooked options.
  • Limit acidic, salty, spicy, dry, and crunchy items, which can worsen throat pain and inflammation.

Eating comforting foods, drinking liquids, using honey and saltwater gargles, and resting can help soothe a sore throat fast. Listen carefully to the signs and consult a physician if you notice any alterations or increased pain. With the right comprehensive approach, you’ll feel better quickly!

Irritated by a persistent sore throat?

Please book an appointment with our primary care specialists to get personalized treatment and advice for lasting relief.

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Our Team


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Dr. Farhan Malik Primary Care Physician
Dr. Shoaib Malik Primary Care Physician

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